“HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM”
“HEARKEN, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?” – James 2:5.
Listen, give attention, take heed. He is saying something of great importance, worthy of closest interest. He is speaking to dearly beloved brethren – the Lord’s precious possessions, dearly purchased by the blood of Jesus.
“HATH NOT GOD CHOSEN?”
His question brings a very profound statement of fact to our hearts. He says two things pertaining to God in relation to the inheritance: God hath promised an inheritance, and He chooses His heirs.
His promises are exceeding great and precious, making those who believe “partakers of the Divine nature” – II Peter 1:4. He has begotten those who trust Him, to “a lively (or living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith” – I Peter 1:3-5.
God’s only heirs are of the line of faith. His promises are so very staggering to the natural man; for they are beyond his highest expectations, his fondest imagination, or his richest dreams. Romans 4:13-21; I Corinthians 2: 9-12.
Oh, what God has prepared for them that love Him!
HOW NOT TO INHERIT
We are told very clearly in Scripture what will keep us from inheriting these promises. So we have no excuse. “Be not ye therefore partakers with them” – Ephesians 5:5-7; Galatians 5:16-21; I Corinthians 6: 9-12. Paul explains that not everything that is permissible to him is profitable for him. “I will not be brought under the power of any” (or enslaved). This he says expressly in relation to the inheritance.
“GOD HATH CHOSEN”
James here speaks of three outstanding characteristics of God’s chosen heirs. We, by these, think how we have: a greatness of need, a wealth of trust, and a depth of love.
He is not having a drawing, nor just picking at random some to inherit His Kingdom. He is not conducting a popularity poll, nor is He holding a talent or beauty contest.
A sense of need. Oh, I am so glad to understand that when God blesses and uses and enriches us, it is not because we had any more than anyone else. That is, we did not have more talent, we were not stronger nor more intelligent, we were not better looking or richer. But it was because we need Him more, and realized more our need of Him. These are the “poor” that God makes rich with the eternal riches.
These three characteristics of God’s chosen heirs are very closely related. It is those that have a real and deep since of need that can become “rich in faith,” and enjoy the depths of God’s wonderful love. As our love for Him grows deeper, our need for Him becomes greater. We become more dependent on His promises, and more complete in our trust of Him.
The combination of these three can serve to make us full heirs.